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Not good to tighten SOP for incoming travellers, says Tourism Ministry

Publish date: Sat, 07 Jan 2023, 03:01 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: It is neither appropriate nor effective for now to tighten the standard operating procedures for the entry of travellers from other countries including China, says the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the people's safety and health would remain a priority for the ministry but added that it is important to strike a balance between the people's well-being and the country's economic interests.

"So far, we have retained the status quo and continued to monitor developments from time to time. If there is a change of situation and an urgent need, of course we will ensure a more stringent SOP," he said in a statement on Saturday (Jan 7).

He said based on facts, the United States recorded 99 million infections and 1.08 million deaths due to Covid-19 while China recorded 31,000 deaths with 10.16 million positive cases.

"That's why neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia have not tightened the entry of travellers from China. At the same time, there are questions about the arrival of travellers from the United States, Japan, Korea and France which have also recorded high number of infections," said Tiong.

"Considering China's population of 1.4 billion, the death rate due to the pandemic is 0.002% The number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia is 5.02 million with 0.7% of deaths recorded," he said.

He said Malaysia had received travellers from around the world before this although they were from countries with high rate of COVID-19 infection cases.

"We are thankful because the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia can be considered to be under control. In fact, China has also passed the Covid-19 infection surge phase, so tightening the existing SOP is not appropriate and effective for now," he said.

He said the RM30 billion figure mentioned earlier was to show the importance of tourism and its economic value specifically involving travellers from China.

"This is also in line with the expected increase in Chinese travellers to Malaysia, from three million in 2019 to about six million this year," he said.

Tiong said the issue of discrimination must be taken seriously, and he also made comparisons between other countries which are also likely to be high-risk for Covid-19 spread in the country.

He said what had been raised before was to ensure that Malaysia does not discriminate against travellers from any country, including China.

"It is important to maintain diplomatic relations between Malaysia and foreign countries, especially our trading partners," he said. - Bernama

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Datuk Seri Tiong, you are a wise man indeed!

2023-01-07 15:13


SOP is good but must be effective. current covid test SOP is ineffective. MOH must come out with new SOP better than KJ to proof PH's worth as better gomen than taliban ma

2023-01-07 15:56


DS Tiong is the current best MP from Sarawak! Hurray!

2023-01-08 22:05


The virus is now a class B virus and so SOP must relax to class B level

2023-01-09 08:52


Sop according to virus.... that is what China is doing

2023-01-09 08:53

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